As I've mentioned, I've tried several things to help Dew understand his responsibility in his behavior. He's getting better & some days are fabulous & some are not. We've been trying a new thing & for the first few days it was holding up pretty well. The last 2 days were a testament to needing to change our strategy, constantly. As with every other thing we've tried, this one fell to the way side early. Incentive doesn't work; charting doesn't work; praise doesn't work; restriction doesn't work. All of those things have been tried, some several times. They all only work for a short while. As I write this, I'm thinking, maybe I didn't give them enough time to fully play themselves out. Some of them I did give several months to. I still practice praise today.
While we all know all kids benefit from consistency, I've confessed my inability (or laziness, it depends on who you ask) to remain consistent. I've never been, with anything except inconsistency. & I have to say the Dew is my one child with whom I've been most consistent.
Sometimes I feel like he gets the brunt of my parental frustration. To be honest, he's probably right in feeling that. Whenever we hear anything going on with him when we're not in the room - it's his name we call out. Once in a while it's Kyle's name. If I ask myself why, it's because his behavior is so frustrating and a lot of the time he is the instigator. How do we get it across to him that he will NOT always get his way & that as a kid, he'll get his way a lot less. When he's an adult, he can get his way if he works for it. And that's his biggest deal. He wants his way ALL the time! I know - like every other kid on the planet. Thing is, every other kid on the planet doesn't cry, whine, squeal, stomp every single time they don't get their way. He's been doing it since he was 3 - he's 10 now.
My other kids didn't & don't do this.
The Princess (and I LOVE calling her that because she has been one - in a positive way. And she is a fluffy fart - the most gassy baby I've ever known, grown into a gassy little girl who is now modest, so the gas can upset her sometimes...) is an over achiever so far. She has so many more good days than bad & usually, it isn't a bad day, it's a bad few minutes. I can see how the positive feedback she gets so much more often will weigh on the Dewd. How do you explain to a kid that "she's not better than you, she just acts better than you"? I've never tried because I don't want him to feel like he is just bad. I do tell him he likes to make trouble, though. It really seems that way.
So, today I asked him to list (like pros & cons) his positive & negative behaviors. He could only think of negatives. That tells me that's what he has on his mind - most of the time. The negative. I had to help him with the positive. As we were listing those positives, his mood did lighten. I do praise him nearly every time he does something I ask without a fight. I praise him when he listens the first time & when he's very helpful. I praise him when the kids play well together. I always hope that the positive will make him feel so good, he'll want it more.
We're going to put up Dew's affirmations around the house. I don't know if that will work, but we are going to try. Affirmations & messages to "stop & think".
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